TCA Podcast, – “Conversations with Consequences,” Episode 264 – DC’s Eucharistic Procession & Biden’s Latest Title IX Moves
With President Biden’s latest moves to push gender ideology further into campuses across the nation, Mary Hasson of the Ethics and Public Policy Center joins to discuss how fraught this move is and how dangerous it is for students–especially females. As we get closer to the National Eucharistic Congress, Father Charles Trullols shares his excitement for the upcoming 2nd annual Eucharistic procession in our nation’s capital. Father Roger Landry also offers an inspiring homily to prepare us for this Sunday’s Gospel. Catch the show every Saturday at 5pmET on EWTN radio!
1. Pope urges Italians to have babies as a measure of hope for future, Pope Francis has pressed his campaign to urge Italians to have children, By Associated Press, May 10, 2024, 10:11 AM
Pope Francis pressed his campaign Friday to urge Italians to have children, calling for long-term policies to help families and warning that the country’s demographic crisis was threatening the future.
“The number of births is the first indicator of the hope of a people,” Francis told an annual gathering of pro-family groups. “Without children and young people, a country loses its desire for the future.”
It was Francis’ latest appeal for Italy – and beyond that Europe – to invert what he has called the demographic winter facing many industrialized countries.
Italy’s birth rate, already one of the lowest in the world, has been falling steadily for about 15 years and reached a record low last year with 379,000 babies born.
With the Vatican’s strong backing, the right-wing government of Premier Giorgia Meloni has mounted a campaign to encourage at least 500,000 births annually by 2033, a rate that demographers say is necessary to prevent the economy from collapsing under the weight of Italy’s aging population.
2. No National Abortion Ban, Speaker Johnson Says— Even Under Trump, By Sara Dorn, Forbes, May 10, 2024, 11:13 AM
House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., told Politico he doesn’t expect a national abortion ban if former President Donald Trump is elected, despite co-sponsoring previous proposals—becoming the highest ranking Republican to reverse course on the issue and follow suit with Trump’s stance that abortion should be decided at the state level.

Republicans have largely coalesced behind Trump’s abortion-policy stance, with many abandoning their previous endorsements of national abortion bans. The policy shift comes after the GOP has failed to craft a cohesive messaging strategy surrounding abortion in the wake of Roe v. Wade’s reversal. Party leadership has acknowledged Republicans’ abortion rhetoric was a misstep that contributed to high-profile losses in the 2022 midterm election, effectively preventing the GOP from taking control of Congress and leaving Republicans with a slim majority in the House.–even-under-trump/?
3. Methodists Keep Up With the Times, The UMC opts for the secular culture’s take on sex over traditional Christian orthodoxy, By Carl R. Trueman, The Wall Street Journal, May 10, 2024, Pg. A13, Opinion
The United Methodist Church at its General Conference last week voted by large margins to lift its ban on practicing homosexual clergy and to eliminate from its “Social Principles” the statement that homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching. The decision is significant for what has long been one of the nation’s biggest religious groups, with more than five million members.
As with every other mainline Protestant denomination in America, there has been a long struggle over the church’s traditional teaching that homosexuality is wrong and that marriage is between a man and a woman. The UMC stood its ground for longer than many other denominations, even reaffirming its position and strengthening the penalties for breaking the rules in 2019. That, however, was also the year the UMC adopted a policy that allowed congregations to leave the denomination with their property. Traditionalists did so in droves, with more than 7,000 American churches departing in the past five years, preparing the way for the progressives’ triumph.

The feminist art critic Camille Paglia wrote incisively about this dynamic more than 30 years ago in an essay titled “The Joy of Presbyterian Sex.” She reviewed a 1991 Presbyterian Church USA committee report, which she described as calling for “radical change in traditional Christian attitudes toward sexual behavior and which specifically endorses extramarital relationships and homosexuality.” Ms. Paglia, a lesbian and atheist, might have been expected to welcome the proposal (which wasn’t adopted at the time). Instead, she lambasted the group for failing to stand by what the Bible and Christian tradition clearly teach on sex. She added that such Christians, far from being radical, merely operate within the conventional tastes of the dominant culture.

There is an alternative. It is to heed Ms. Paglia’s challenge and hold to a historic form of Christian faith that doesn’t affirm the predilections of the surrounding culture. That will come at a cost, but then so does sanctifying the sexual revolution. The UMC this year ratified a budget about 40% lower than what it approved in 2016. The faithful have voted with their feet and pocketbooks. Don’t be surprised if the world to which the UMC has sold its soul fails to make its payments.
Mr. Trueman is a professor of biblical and religious studies at Grove City College and a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
4. Catholic church is stonewalling sex abuse investigation, Washington attorney general says, Washington’s attorney general says the Seattle Archdiocese isn’t cooperating in a sex abuse investigation, but church officials disagree, By Gene Johnson, Associated Press, May 9, 2024, 5:38 PM
The Catholic church is refusing to cooperate with a Washington state investigation into whether it unlawfully used charitable trust funds to cover up sexual abuse by priests, Attorney General Bob Ferguson said Thursday, asking a court to force the Seattle Archdiocese to turn over decades of records.
The archdiocese called the allegations a surprise, saying in a statement that it welcomed the investigation and has been collaborating since receiving a subpoena last July. The archdiocese shares the state’s goals — “preventing abuse and helping victim survivors on their path to healing and peace,” it said.
“We have a good understanding of the content of our files and we have no concern about sharing them with the Attorney General lawfully and fairly,” the statement said.
Ferguson, a Catholic himself, told a news conference that the archdiocese has refused to provide even a single document that had not already been made public, claiming an exemption as a religious institution. The archdiocese disputed that as well, saying it offered this week to provide private deposition documents, but that the attorney general’s office said it wasn’t interested.
5. Department of Justice goes after pro-life former Rep. Fortenberry again, By Tyler Arnold, Catholic News Agency, May 9, 2024, 5:45 PM
Federal prosecutors have refiled charges against pro-life former Rep. Jeff Fortenberry in relation to allegations that he made false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) amid an investigation into allegedly illegal campaign donations received by his 2016 campaign. 
Fortenberry was indicted on one count of falsifying and concealing material facts and one count of making false statements. He is accused of lying to the federal agents about his campaign receiving $30,000 in illegal campaign donations from a foreign national.

The federal indictment accuses the former congressman of taking the money despite knowing that the donor was a foreign national and that receiving the money would violate the law. 
Fortenberry had previously been tried and convicted of these same crimes in March 2022, but the conviction was overturned in December 2023 after an appellate court ruled that he had been charged in an improper venue.

Chad Kolton, a spokesperson for Fortenberry, said in a statement that the “case should never have been brought in the first place, and it shouldn’t have been pursued again,” according to Nebraska Public Media.
“The man the Biden Justice Department is about to spend massive amounts of time and money prosecuting for a second time,” Kolton said, “was described by the District Court judge in his previous trial as ‘by all accounts … a man of exceptional character. And when I say “by all accounts,” I don’t mean simply based upon one-sided submissions on the part of the defense. I mean by all accounts, including the evidence that was presented by the government at trial.’”

Fortenberry is a former Republican lawmaker from Nebraska from 2005 until 2022; he resigned one week after his conviction. He had an A+ rating from Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America and introduced the Care for Her Act in 2021, which would have facilitated support to women who face unplanned pregnancies. He also co-signed a congressional amicus brief that urged the United States Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
6. Democratic attorneys general form ‘reproductive rights working group’, By Peter Pinedo, Catholic News Agency, May 9, 2024, 3:15 PM
A group of at least 17 Democratic attorneys general has formed a “reproductive rights working group” to expand abortion access and crack down on pregnancy resource centers across the country, according to reporting by The 19th, a pro-abortion news source. 
The group is being led by Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell. She said on Thursday that the group will serve as a “united effort” to “protect access to abortion across our country.”

TCA Media Monitoring provides a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.
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